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"You" being Monsanto. The title of this diary is the last line of Country Joe McDonald's "Agent Orange Song" off of his "Vietnam Experience" DVD/CD.

I have written before on the fucked up history of Agent Orange and Monsanto here and here.

A few tidbits from those two entries. The quotes are from the court brief (PDF):

THE VIETNAM ASSOCIATION FOR VICTIMS
OF AGENT ORANGE/DIOXIN

Against

THE DOW CHEMICAL COMPANY; MONSANTO
COMPANY; MONSANTO CHEMICAL COMPANY;
PHARMACIA CORPORATION; HERCULES
INCORPORATED; OCCIDENTAL CHEMICAL
CORPORATION; ULTRAMAR DIAMOND

So while many of the quotes reference DOW, Monsanto is just as culpable. They settled a class action law suit just this year brought against them by residents of  Nitro, West Virginia

A proposed settlement has been reached in a big against Monsanto. The case is connected to the company's production of the controversial herbicide "Agent Orange," the defoliant the military sprayed over Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.

~

Charleston Gazette reporter Kate White was in the courtroom Thursday morning and tells NPR details of the settlement were not released and documents associated with the case are being kept secret.

"The judge sealed everything," says White. "You're also not allowed to ask questions because of a very strict gag order, where attorneys, the judge, any law clerks are not allowed to talk to the press."

Don't you just love gag orders? Can't have the public know how evil these fuckers are.

Onward to the quotes.

"The initial government criteria for defoliation agents stated that the selected agent should "be safe to handle while in storage, shipment or operation . . . [and] . . . should not be injurious to the health of man and animals who come in contact with it during and after military applications."
...as early as 1954 there were questions being raised regarding the toxicity of dioxin...
   
In February 1964, at Dow’s plant in Midland, Michigan, more than 40 workers developed chloracne, some quite severe, due to the presence of dioxin. Dow believed at the time that extreme exposure to dioxin could result in "general organ toxicity," as well as "psychopathological," and "other systemic problems." A58 (FAC ¶106). As a result of this experience with chloracne, Dow decided to explicitly inform the other defendants of its experiences and knowledge, going back to the 1940s. It organized a meeting in Midland, Michigan in March, 1965, at which it shared all this information with the other defendants.
They FUCKING knew. They helped write the specifications and they knew it was contaminated. They knew how to control the contamination but that would have cut into their profits.
As the government asked the chemical companies to produce more and more herbicide as the war escalated, whatever quality control that may have existed became non-existent. With greater demand, the companies in effect sped up their production line, which led to higher temperatures and pressure in the production process. Defendants knew from the experiences of Boehringer and another German company, Badische, that higher temperatures and pressure lead to greater dioxin content. After Boehringer shut down its plant in the 1950’s due to dioxin contamination, it discovered why dioxin was formed and how to avoid it. The company later reopened its plant and managed to keep dioxin levels at a reasonably low level. This new process involved keeping an upper temperature limit of between 150 and 155 degrees Centigrade. In Boehringer’s system, an alarm would go off when the temperature rose above 157 degrees. This meant that the reaction to form TCP (when dioxin is normally produced) took 12 to 13 hours, much longer than with higher temperatures. Boehringer shared this information with the chemical companies in 1957, after it had experienced a measure of success in avoiding dioxin formation. ...Though defendants knew in the 1950s that decreasing temperature in the autoclave reaction would greatly lower levels of dioxin in their 2,4,5-T, they intentionally and deliberately failed to follow these precautions.
Dow’s reaction temperature during the early 1960s ran as high as 212 to 225 degrees, nowhere near the safe level of 150 degrees, and the reaction took only 45 minutes. ...The reason for this was that lowering the temperature of the reaction and therefore slowing down the process would have cost more and taken longer.
They FUCKING knew.
With Monsanto in the news, I thought it was a good time to remind people that they have been evil motherfuckers for a long time.

There are no walls with the names of those who died from AO exposure, but there should be.

I was seventeen - just a teenage kid,
The year that I enlisted.
I can't remember why I did;
My mom said, "I insisted".

I had some strange idea then,
That Uncle Sam was right.
Oh, momma cried, but she signed the card,
And then I went off to fight.

Got off the plane in Vietnam;
It didn't seem like war.
With all I saw, I started to wonder
What I had come there for.

Some officers got drunk at night,
And cheated on their wives.
And the peasants on the other side,
Were just strugglin' for their lives.

Oh, the Army tried some fancy stuff,
To bring them to their knees;
Like Agent Orange defoliants,
To kill the brush and trees.

We'd hike all day on jungle trails,
Through clouds of poison spray;
And they never told me then,
That it would hurt my health today.

But I got the news this mornin',
Yeah, the doctors told me so;
They killed me in Vietnam,
And I didn't even know.

I tried hard to forget the war,
Like everybody did.
Settled down, got married;
Even had a couple o' kids.

Well my children both have birth defects,
And the doctors had their doubts;
They never could understand it;
But I think I figured it out.

'Cause I got the news this mornin',
Yeah, the doctors told me so;
They killed me in Vietnam,
And I didn't even know.

This Agent Orange from Vietnam,
We carry it with us, still;
It stays inside for years and years,
Before it starts to kill.

You might get cancer of the liver;
You might get cancer of the skin;
You can file for disability,
But you might not live to win.

Oh, I got the news this mornin',
Yeah, the doctors told me so;
They killed me in Vietnam,
And I didn't even know.

Oh, the doctors said I've got some time,
Trying to be kind;
I've never been a radical,
But this has changed my mind.

Oh, I'd be so proud to hear my kid say
"Hell no, I won't go",
Because you killed my dad in Vietnam;
And he didn't even know.

Yes, I'd be so proud to hear my kid say
"Hell no, I won't go",
Because you killed my dad in Vietnam;
And he didn't even know.

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